Summer 2010 Review Part 4–Marseille

Marseille, France

We played in a sparse grassy area with manicured trees called Palais Longchamp. During soundcheck, people picnicked on blankets making me imagine there were nice bottles of French wine, baguettes, and great cheese. The name Esperanza Spalding has been a new name in my mind’s book of great new musicians on the scene these days. She opened this day of the festival.

Take my advice… Don’t follow her onstage to do whatever it is that you do! OK, OK, maybe in your program you have dancing bears and a clown and a small spider monkey that opens women’s purses and steals their earrings. Esperanza is a gorgeous little bit of a thing… Model-ish, skinny, who tops off her look with a black and white train conductor’s cap pulled to the side and up and out. I’m not through… Skin tight white dress with bare shoulders and man-handling the upright bass like Stanley Clark… surely his protégé. And she sings—She also is an instructor at Berkley School of Music, arriving at that position after one year of being a student. I’m a fan!

This was a great night for the Jarreau group, and I could delve into more detail, but a great night with encores was turned into a thrilling soiree when Chick Corea joined me onstage to top off everything. I was nearly going down the back ramp off the stage when I looked to my left and saw my old friend Chick smiling an impish little smile at me; whereupon without a word, I grabbed his hand, and we headed right back on the stage. I sang some a cappella arpeggiated lines for half a minute and threw in the word Summertime, and off we went…slow and romantic, then breaking into tempo. Chick soloed with me singing bass and drums like accompaniment. Special stuff! Now what do you do?? They’re screaming.

You guessed it—You do Spain. The band hurried out to join us at the top of the song. Needless to say, the cow jumped over the moon. I love you, Chick, and thank you, Marseille. P.S. Say hi to Gail.

I’ll talk next update about the Barcelonnette altitude and Marseille Round 2.

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